Thursday, December 21, 2006

half-nAAked path to serenity

Okay, officially this doesn't qualify as HNT material 'cuz I'm not in it, but this is the path I ran this morning, courtesy Google Earth. I don't know if you can see the teeny-tiny numbers, but it's 2.04 miles! Up until today, I hadn't made it to the 2 mile mark. I'll never catch up with Mary Christine, but that's okay. I'm doing this for me, for my health (mental and physical), and my serenity, which is CRUCIAL to my sobriety. Come see some of my fellow runners in this race known as sober living at Half-nAAked Thursday.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boots Got Tagged

My cat, Boots, got tagged by Tab's cat, Jasper to do a list of 6 Weird Things. Boots has his own blog, so go you can see his list here.

Wrong Foot

*Sigh* I must have gotten out of bed on the wrong foot—or rather, on the wrong side—this morning.

Nothing's really wrong. I'm not dealing with huge issues of loss and grief, or overwhelming depression, or anything majorly serious. I'm just a little grumpy, for some reason.

Okay, I KNOW part of the reason is this: I've ordered a bunch of stuff online (compulsive buying is one of my alternate unhealthy coping mechanisms, so it kinda kicked into full gear when I quit drinking 3 months ago), a lot of which I'm going to return today. One of these things is a pair of jeans that I ordered in 2 sizes, not knowing which would fit better. Well, now the ones I was planning to return just about fit, and if I lose 2—3 more pounds, which has been my goal since starting on my diet and exercise plan, they'll fit (I can get into them comfortably now, but it won't hurt to lose another pound or 2). So—cut to the chase, DG!—I put the jeans on and showed my husband and asked what he thought.

R's response: "Do you really think you're going to be able to stay at that size once you go off the diet?"


Okay, okay.

I KNOW this is just a typical man's response (no offense to you guys out there, but you have a reputation as being a little thick-headed when it comes to these kind of things, especially in relationship issues). But, did he HAVE to respond with a question that makes me feel he's undermining me, and has no faith in my ability to stick with anything?

I KNOW I'm being paranoid and narcissistic about this, and I need to quit focusing on myself and on the negative. I just have to get this off my chest, though, before I explode.

I'm going to finish my coffee and go for a run.

I'll check back with y'all later.

Monday, December 18, 2006

100 days / skiing sober

This is a blatant request for HELP!!! and input from all you fellows and fellowettes out there.

Here's the deal. I'm going skiing in Vail, CO, January 13—21. I'm hugely psyched, I've started running to get in shape, I've got my skis, boots and poles, the travel arrangements have been made, and I'm 100 DAYS SOBER (100 Days!!! I didn't realize it 'til I just typed it!).

Last year, when I went skiing, though, I drank. I'll be with some of my same friends (at least one of whom knows I've quit drinking and am determined not to drink while there, and will support me) and others who don't know me. I'm intending to not drink, but I know I need to arm myself with more than good intentions.

Does anyone out there know of some good meetings I can go to while there? I've never been to Vail, so am not familiar with the layout of the town. I did look up an online listing of meetings there (scroll down the page to Vail), but I have no point of reference. I would imagine I can get to them via public transportation (which is very good in ski areas), once we get there, though. We're going to be staying at Landmark Tower.

Any tips you can give me will be appreciated. I'm so excited, because I know I'm going to ski so much better without alcohol in my system and minus the morning hangover, but I just don't want to take any chances on giving in to temptation, should it present itself.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Soupy Saturday Gratitude

Today is drizzly and gray. A day my Mama would describe as "soupy." Despite the weather, I went for a short run this morning. Due to the humidity, as I sit here typing in my running clothers, I'm still quite damp.

But I feel good, and am very aware of so much for which I'm grateful this morning.
  • Today is R's and my 17th wedding anniversary.

  • R's waking me up this morning with the Barney Rubble Happy Anniversay song. :)

  • Not going ballistic when I drove off with my cell phone on top of my car, and it fell off in the middle of Federal Highway, where R found it 45 minutes later.

  • R is an engineering genius and was able to take parts from his old cell phone and fix mine, after it had been run over numerous times.

  • Having a meltdown last night at home BEFORE getting to the church for the Christmas play performance, but not yelling or cussing or screaming or blaming anyone else in the midst of it.

  • A very loving and supportive husband, who tolerates the occasional meltdown because he understands that sometimes his wife just doesn't know how to cope with her fear and anxiety, but that she's trying to learn.

  • Singing a solo without pre-medicating.

  • My mother-in-law being such an easy houseguest.

  • Realizing that broken dishes can be replaced, but not allowing my mother-in-law to help out in the kitchen would do irreparable damage to our relationship.

  • 98 days of sobriety.

  • A wonderful support network, both IRL and virtual.

  • Beginning to learn to take things as they come, and to turn them over to my HP, and seeing that when I do, it's not more than we can handle together.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.
Alchoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, pp. 87-88

Thursday, December 14, 2006

half-nAAked Stress Relief

While I'm no Mary Christine, these days I've begun reaching for my shoelaces, instead of for the bottle when I'm stressed. See some of those who inspire, motivate, and encourage me to keep running at Half-nAAked Thursday.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A First

So, this morning, I'm sitting at the breakfast table after having just vomited, trying to force down a few bites of hard-boiled eggwhite.

Yep, this is my life these past few days. So stressed out that I toss my cookies before breakfast.

What am I stressed about? Honestly, I have no clue. Or, at least not much of one.

Lessee... There's the Christmas Extravaganza at church in which I'm singing a solo on Friday and Saturday nights... My mother-in-law is coming this morning at around 10:00 to stay with us for a week and I haven't hit a lick at a snake... Four days after she leaves, we're flying up to North Carolina for a visit with my folks for 10 days... Haven't even THOUGHT about Christmas shopping or putting up a tree or decorating the house... Or CARDS! I totally forgot about cards or a newsletter or anything, and a lot of people don't even know we've moved!... We have rats in the attic and R won't let me call an exterminator because HE wants to take care of it HIS way, and apparently, in HIS own sweet time... When am I going to have time to get a pedicure before Friday night?... We still haven't finished unpacking, and we've been here since AUGUST!... What are we going to do with Boots, while we're away for 10 days??... Why does Boots keep bringing in lizards, instead of hunting down those darn rats???

Anyway, back to the breakfast table.

I'm sitting there, willing the nausea to abate (to no avail), and the thought crosses my mind, You used to drink over stuff like this.

Another thought immediately follows: That sure as heck wouldn't help anything!

Okay, okay, I know this probably just seems like a normal conversation everyone has in their heads all the time.

But, this was a first for me! For the thought alcohol would only make things worse to come, unbidden, to mind—without my having to consciously think through how it would make things worse, and then convince myself that the short-term alleviation of stress is soooo not worth the long-term result of taking a drink again—is an absolute breakthrough for me!

And, I'm celebrating, by golly. Dove dark chocolate, here I come.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

6 Weird Things

Okay, I'm doing this 'cuz I got tagged by Carly, so even though I normally hate participating in things of this nature, I'm going to be a good sport and play, 'cuz I loves me Carly-girl. :)

6 Weird Things About Me
  1. When I clean my ears with a Q-tip, it always makes me sneeze.

  2. When I cook, I have to begin with a clean kitchen, even if it means doing the dishes first.

  3. I'm terrified of speaking in public, but I sing solos in church, and I'm pissed that I'm too old for American Idol.

  4. I normally don't shower until late afternoon or early evening, even if I get up early, unless I have somewhere to go earlier in the day.

  5. I absolutely have to read something, even if only for 5 minutes, before I can go to sleep at night.

  6. When I was small, I was terrified of monkeys, and frequently woke up screaming from nightmares involving monkeys (I have no idea where that fear originated).
So, now I tag... Mary Christine, Pam, Redhead Gal, Tampa Realtor, dAAve, and JJ. Please don't hate me! I had to tag somebody!! :D

The Rules: Each player of this game starts with the 6 Weird Things About You. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 Weird Things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged!" in their comments and tell them to read your blog!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Something to Celebrate

I went to my home group tonight to pick up my 90 Day chip.

It was awesome!

I was expecting...

I'm not sure.

Questions? Rejection? Accusations? Hostility?

You see, it had been about a month since I'd been to my home group.

I had been too ashamed to go back because of my long absence (a direct result of listening to the stupid, stupid disease voice), but made up my mind tonight to go because I WANTED THAT FREAKIN' 90 DAY CHIP, and also, I thought it was kinda selfish for me NOT to go and let my home group celebrate with me.

Seriously. Despite my recent prolonged absence, I wouldn't have made it to 90 days if not for them.

My sponsor was there, too. Everyone was absolutely fantastic, assuring me of their understanding, acceptance and genuine love. And, giving me some much needed ass-kicks, too. I definitely will endeavor NOT to fall into the trap of listening to that voice and not going to my fave meetings again.

The topic of tonight's meeting was living in the present, or staying in today.

It could not have been more appropriate for me, in light of my recent struggles. I shared, and told on myself, and how I've been struggling emotionally and even wanting to drink again (not in the past couple of days, but as recently as last Sunday, as I shared in previous posts), and how I realize that this has ALL been because I'm NOT living in the present or staying in today.

I've been romanticizing the past and projecting into the future.

No wonder I've been going nuts. What a catharsis! What a freakin' dumb-ass I've been!!!!

Okay, everyone together, now... 1, 2, 3... "We told you so!" :D

90 Days!

It's finally here.

The big Nine-Oh.

I've been looking ahead to it for so long now, and now that it's here, I actually had to remind myself that it had arrived.


When I was approaching 30 days, I was soooo excited and energized, thinking I was ready to take on the world.

At 60 days, I was gritting my teeth, wondering why it even mattered.

Now, here at 90 days, I feel quiet satisfaction in having attained this once-impossible goal, but I also realize how tenuous and fragile my newfound sobriety is, and how difficult the road is that stretches before me.

I am resigned to continuing to follow it. I really do know my life is better without alcohol, even though at times, the lure of numbing my emotions is still there. I am acquiring tools and skills which equip me to fight the urges, and deal with my raw emotions, though, and these are crucial to living life as it is and will be.

Occasionally, I experience joy, and even serenity. These fruits sustain me, and make me hungry for more, which I know will come, if I continue my journey.

I treasure the friends I've made, and continue to make along the way. I invite you all to celebrate with me today!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Half-nAAked Progress, Not Perfection

I'm making progress in many areas, but certainly have not achieved perfection.

Obviously, if my abs were as chiseled, or my arms as toned as I'd like, I wouldn't have posterized the image. And, note the boxes in the background, STILL waiting to be unpacked.

However, I'm healthier and at my lowest weight in 3 years, I'm eating well, NOT DRINKING, and exercising.


Except for a very small pile near the front door (which will be unpacked by the end of this coming weekend) this is the LAST of the boxes (not in storage, that is) and they'll be unpacked during R's semester break.


Sometimes in this journey of sober living, I feel as if I'm taking one step forward, and two steps back. But, when I look back and survey the road I've trudged so far, I do see PROGRESS, however slow that may be. And, seeing that gives me the courage and the will and the joy to continue. See some of those who are helping me along the way at Half-nAAked Thursday.
Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
—from How It Works

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on... [O]ne thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize...
—from Philippians 3:12-14, NIV

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gratitude, with Gritted Teeth

Okay, so I've been in a funk for a while now. A major contributor to my sickness (whether we're talking about alcoholism or depression), though, is focusing solely on the negative—whether it's what's negative about me, my life, other people, the world—whatever.

Even though it may seem like I have nothing to be grateful for right now, I know rationally and intellectually that that's a lie. So, with gritted teeth, I will make an effort to do the one thing that has been successful in the past, when I've been feelin' funky.

Without further ado, I present:

A List of (Grudging) Gratitude:
  • Boots, when he's not demon-possessed (and sometimes when he is!)

  • R, when I'm not mad at him, because deep down, I DO love him, or I wouldn't still be here

  • The weather being cool and dry enough for me to have gone for a run today

  • The way running (okay, jogging) calms my mind

  • 2 ski trips in my very near future!

  • The church we've found, and the real friends I'm making there

  • The way God is making me aware of the fact that I've turned my back on him for years, not the other way around, and that it's not an irreversible action

  • I've been able to lose 7 pounds in the past 4 weeks, via not drinking alcohol and the South Beach Diet

  • My HP is not a God of confusion, and I can seek his wisdom and direction through prayer, and he promises to give me a sound mind

  • My blogging peeps (special hugs to Kenny), even the ones who piss me off when they say stuff I don't want to hear, 'cuz I know they are just telling me what I NEED to hear (or at least what they think I need to hear)


Don't know whether it's endorphins or the list, but that feels sooooo much better!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Anger and Resentment

I am angry and resentful.

There's no getting around it. That's what it is.

I'm angry that when my parents came, my husband didn't spend any time doing stuff and going places with us because he was so immersed in completing an assignment which he finally gave up on the day they left.

Coincidence? Seems suspicious to me...

I resent his self-centeredness and self-absorption, which he doesn't acknowledge, and probably can't even see.

I'm angry that the day after they left, he called HIS mother and arranged for her to come for a visit, which is very conveniently going to coincide with his semester break.

I'm so angry about this entire situation, because it so overwhelmingly typifies the dynamics of our relationship.

I'm angry and resentful that HIS goals, HIS agenda, HIS plans are the only ones that matter, and that he doesn't care if their achievement results in the disruption and absolute upheaval of our lives.

I'm angry that I don't matter in the equation, and I deeply resent his selfishness.

So, how do I handle the anger, the resentment, the resulting bitterness? Do I talk to him? No.

In my defense, talking doesn't seem to get us anywhere. He won't see things from my perspective, and immediately goes on the defense, even when I take great care and pain NOT to accuse and berate him.

So, instead, I find reasons not to have sex with him when he tries to initiate it for the first time in months (literally). I keep buying things online, even though I know he'll find out and be angry (both the need to fill the emotional void, and striking out against him are involved there, I guess) and our financial situation is precarious at best. I stay up at night until 2:00 or 3:00 AM, watching shows I've TiVoed, and I sleep until 10:00 or 11:00 AM every morning.

This is S0 MUCH a part of why I began to drink again 8+ years ago. Not only did drinking numb my feelings of hurt, disappointment, anger, rejection, abandonment, loss, grief, etc., but it also was a way for me to punish HIM, and a way for me to scream without using my voice, "Look at what the fuck is going on here! Don't you realize or care how fucking miserable I am????"

The problem is, it didn't work that way, in ANY way that helped our relationship. And that made me want to numb the pain even more, the pain that became even greater with the knowledge that he couldn't or wouldn't see beyond the action and realize that something in our lives needed to change.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Vsit from the Joneses

Why have the cravings come back so strong??? I'm now at 85 days and I keep jonesing for a drink.

Not a drink, as in any ol' slug of alcohol.

More like the drink.

The mojita that's the Cuban restaurant's house specialty (not a fan of rum, but it sounds so yummy!).

The Beaujolais Nouveau that the grocery store is handing out freakin' samples of, as I weave through the aisles in an attempt to avoid the end-cap wine displays (and BTW, whatever happened to no alcohol being sold on Sundays? at least then I had one day of "safe" shopping!).

This, too, shall pass. This, too, shall pass.

My new mantra. Catchy, no?

Got to get to a meeting tonight, even if it's not one I particularly like.

Too long in my own head: NOT a good thing. Isolating and avoiding: NOT a good thing. Yelling and cussing at my blogging peeps: NOT a good thing. Admitting I'm wrong and taking steps to correct it: a VERY good thing.

Oh, and P.S. Boots has his own blog now. Check it out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hell Week

The past few days have been hellish in a lot of ways, mostly because I've refused to listen to others, to myself (i.e., the part of me that is still rational and reasonable), and most crucially, to God (my HP).

I know this.

But, I'm still in a funk, and I don't want to hear anything that threatens me, challenges me, or pisses me off even more than I already am.

I'm ashamed and weary of the way in which I've been posting, censoring and editing myself for fear of how it will be received by those reading it. Dammit, this is my blog—my JOURNAL—and it's for me, to express how I'm feeling and how I'm responding to what's going on around me, so if you don't like it, fuck off. It is what it is. I'm not going to pretend everything's hunky-dory when it's not. (And yes, I'm definitely a glass-half-empty kind of girl.)

That said, I also realize that what I'm experiencing right now is not atypical for someone with 80 to 90 days in. In Georgia, when they handed out the chips, they always said something about the 90 day chip being "red for danger." I didn't understand that then, but I do now. I thought then that it was because at 90 days, you'd become complacent and less vigilant, and that a slip could occur because you weren't being watchful and guarded.

Now, I think it's more because you grow weary and despondent at this point, seeing for the first time in a long time what your life is really like, not having a clue how to make it different and better, and seeing the years stretch out before you with no hope of ever REALLY getting better, getting CURED from alcoholism.

It's at this point that I again begin romanticizing drinking: The Beaujolais Nouveau has just come out. Just to taste an Absolut Raspberri cosmopolitan again. A dirty martini is soooo sophisticated. Maybe if I just hold out until I go skiing in January and limit myself to one glass of wine an evening. Plus one cocktail. I must not be a REAL alcoholic, if I can control my drinking that way. And of course, I'll NEVER drink at home again. Or never more than one, anyway, and only if I have 2 hours before R gets home after I drink it. Because, he won't understand that now I know how to control it, and I don't want to worry or hurt him again.

Part of me just wants to give up, and take that first drink, that first step back out.

But the better, smarter part wants to see this through. Because, deep down, I do have a residual glimmer of hope that life WILL get better if I stick this out. That the feelings of despair, depression, and despondency will abate. That I WILL figure out what I'm good at, what my true passion is, what my purpose in being on this planet is. And, I know that if I'm going to do that, if I WANT to do that, I need to do it without alcohol.

I am proud of being sober for 83 days, too. And, I definitely want that "red for danger" 90 day chip.